Number 337 – January 23, 2012
Good News and Good Effects
By Ed Halpaus
Thanks to the Internet and Internet Booksellers such as Amazon they have a separate category for Freemasonry. Bookstores tend to put books on Freemasonry in sections holding other books; it could be religion, history, or occult sections: this, I think, could be due to the cost of floor space in brick and mortar stores, and it could also be a general lack of knowledge among people who work in bookstores in not knowing what Freemasonry is and what it stands for.
It isn’t just the influence of the anti-Masons of the world that injure our fraternity it is also general apathy and ignorance regarding Freemasonry. Sadly apathy and being uniformed affects the initiated as well as the uninitiated.
To me it seems the best way to combat these two problems is for Lodge Education Officers and other Masonic Students to make themselves available to speak at Lodges on Masonic topics; to write and get articles published where Masons and non-Masons have the opportunity to read them, and for a Lodge Education Officer to make sure he has something interesting to bring to the attention of those attending his Lodge communication, and then to have what he has to say published in the print and electronic version of the Lodge newsletter.
For the LEO he could do something as simple as explaining, simply, some of the additional meaning of just one part of a degree to the Brother who has just completed a degree and to all of us who are in attendance at the degree. Something like this will take no longer than about 5 minutes. I can tell you I always enjoy being at a Lodge where there is something presented on Masonic Education; Hearing what other Masons have to say is always interesting to me, and I always learn something. Because of that I think everyone at a stated or special communication will be interested and happy to learn something too. Maybe something to mention after a first degree is why in Freemasonry we call our stated and specials ‘Communications’, and not meetings; they are not meetings, our communications are much more and more enjoyable than meetings.
You might want to find out when the term ‘Communication’ was first used Masonically; Coils Masonic Encyclopedia is a good place to look that up, it’s a very good book for every Lodge to have in its library. A great explanation and definition of the word ‘Communication’ as used in Freemasonry can be found in Mackey’s Revised Masonic Encyclopedia of Freemasonry – volume 1. Having the actual books of Mackey’s is a blessing if you can find them and afford them when you do, but they are also on-line as e-books, some of them free, and they are also available from Amazon as a Kindle book. I have the actual books and the Kindle books of Mackey’s – happily the kindle version is an e-book of the Clegg edition of Mackey’s, which in my opinion is the better revision.
The point is to look up something in these books, you’ll find it interesting, and then you can pass on what you learn in just a couple of minutes to the new Brother, those of us at the degree, or in a stated communication; Once everyone in the Lodge knows what a ‘Communication’ is and should be your communications may change in the future, and hopefully the change will be for the better.
The books I mention for reference should be on most Lodge libraries, and they are certain to be in the larger libraries of the Scottish rite and Grand Lodges. But if you have difficulty looking up the information send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will email the info to you. – Ed
Being a Masonic Student really is worthwhile,and doesn’t take long to enjoy its effects!
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Harold E “Phil” Phillips, Jr, PM
Aurora 43, Newburg, WV